Google+ Reading Teen: Starling by Lesley Livingston: Book & Audiobook Review

Monday, September 24, 2012

Starling by Lesley Livingston: Book & Audiobook Review

Starling: The Starling Saga, Book 1
By Lesley Livingston
Narrated by Lesley Livingston
Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
Release Date:08-28-12
Mark on Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon
Buy the audio: Audible
Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she's never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school. Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a dangerous stranger into her life: a young man who remembers nothing but his name—the Fennrys Wolf. His arrival tears Mason's world apart, even as she feels an undeniable connection to him. Together, they seek to unravel the secrets of Fenn's identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them. When they discover Mason's family—with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse gods—is at the heart of the mystery, Fennrys and Mason are suddenly faced with a terrifying future.

Set against the gritty, shadowed back-drop of New York City, this first novel in award-winning author Lesley Livingston's epic Starling Saga is an intoxicating blend of sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action.  
At a Glance:

Starling was an exciting beginning to new story where so many supernatural and mythological creatures come together.  Being based mostly on Norse mythology, but with pieces of faery lore,  made this book something original and intense.  I really enjoyed it!

The Audio:

I love it when the author reads her own books for the audio production, if she's good, that is.  I thought Lesley did a great job with the reading.  She sounded as good as any other reader I've heard, and I liked knowing that she knew how she wanted her characters to sound.  She knew if they were angry or annoyed, or what inflection to use.  The only thing that I found distracting was that some of her words were pronounced strangely.  I'm not even saying she's pronouncing them incorrectly, they were most likely grammatically correct, it's just that no one I know talks like that.  For example, she pronounce "again" uh-gane, and "been" like bean, and "sorry" was sore-ee.  Again, probably correct, but still distracting for me.  Other than that I had no complaints.  She did different voices for different characters, and her low male voices sounded really good.  I'm definitely glad I listened to this one on audio, and think you should give it a shot!  Listen to a sample.

A New Mythology:

Ok, it's not's just new to me.  I've never really heard much about Norse mythology, and I've certainly never read a book based on the lore.  I love when a book is familiar, but new, and that's how this one felt.  It also had all sorts of other supernatural beings, like faeries, "zombies," a werewolf.....sort of, and other strange creatures.  Mixing all these elements makes for some very interesting reading.

Slapped with Action!

Starling starts out with a seriously intense fight scene, and doesn't let up too much for the entire book.  If you're a fan of action and fighting, you'll definitely appreciate these scenes, reminiscent of The Mortal Instruments series, or Angelfire.  I really liked that it was intense like that.  It got bloody in places, and there were a few times I had to cringe when a bone snapped, which, sick as it sounds, was awesome!

A Girl who Slaps Back:

I love tough, fighting girls.  Maybe it's because I secretly want to be able to use a sword and fight non-existent creatures, but I can't resist a girl who can hold her own in a fight.  Mason didn't grow up knowing these supernatural elements existed, but she did grow up learning how to fence and fight.  So when the nasties came calling, she didn't slink back into the shadows and let the boys handle the fighting, she was right in the thick of it, and it was awesome.  I also appreciated how smart and logical she was.  There were many times when most female book characters would have doubted themselves, or felt guilty or inadequate, but Mason wouldn't let those thoughts take over, and stood up to anyone who tried to tell her otherwise.  I really loved that.

The Fennrys Wolf:

Yes, the main male character's name is actually The Fennrys Wolf.  Strange, I know, but I fell for him just the same.  With a mysteriously forgotten past, and a fierce desire to protect Mason at all costs, how could I not?  Part of the story is told from his point of view (along with Mason's, and some other supporting characters), which just added to my enjoyment.  I love multiple viewpoints, when it's done right.  I can't wait to find out what will happen with him in the next book!

Romancing the Wolf:

Although this book was definitely packed with action, it also had it's fair share of romance and tension.  There are a couple of different boys that Mason is initially interested in, but I wouldn't call it a love triangle at all.  I mean, once a guy shows up on the scene who is gorgeous, fights with amazing skill, and would do anything for you, how could you look at anyone else?  Reading about Mason and Fenn falling for each other was perfect, but with that cliffhanger ending, I have no idea what will happen to them now!

Book Doppelgangers:

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini, Everneath by Brodi Ashton

  • Sexual Content:  Mild
  • Profanity:  Heavy
  • Violence:  Heavy
  • Other Notables:  Mythology, Supernatural Creatures


  1. Lesley is Canadian - perhaps that's why some of her pronunciations sounded different!

  2. I'm dying to read this review, I love how you have everything set up! But is there spoilers? The subheadings have me worried, so I figured I'd make sure before I check it out entirely! Either way, thanks for the review, this book certainly looks amazing!


    1. Hey Jessica! No there's no spoilers. Everything I said that could be considered a possible spoiler is in the summary (like who she's interested in). You should definitely read it, it was a good book! :D


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